Climatic change and aboriginal burning in north-east Australia during the last two glacial/interglacial cycles

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    Abstract

    Long palynological records from continental deposits may be divided into two categories: Detailed sequences seldom extending back much further than the most recent interglacial1-3, and more generalized or discontinuous sequences which cover all or a substantial part of the Quaternary4-6. I present here a record which is unusual in that it provides, in some detail, changes through a period considered to embrace the last two glacial/interglacial cycles. It provides the opportunity to compare the results of climatically-induced changes at corresponding stages within the two cycles and also to assess the impact of Aboriginal people on the vegetation. People have been present in Australia for the past 40,000 years7 and possibly as long ago as the last interglacial period8, but are unlikely to have been present before this.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-49
    Number of pages3
    JournalNature
    Volume322
    Issue number6074
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1986

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